Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The European Citizen’s Prize for 2014 has been awarded to the Smile of the Child charity in Greece. For the past twenty years, the charity has provided accommodation for children in danger, telephone support, and consultation on social integration. The “Smile of the Child” has supported impoverished households that have multiplied with the outbreak of the financial crisis in Greece and organised cultural and athletic events to support its campaigns. In the first half of 2014, the charity supported 57,056 children, approximately 90% more than in the first half of 2013.

Each year, the European Parliament awards "The European Citizen's Prize" for exceptional achievements in the areas of promoting better mutual understanding and closer integration between citizens of the member- states and facilitating cross-border or transnational cooperation within the European Union.

There is a new boost to Greek entrepreneurship thanks to an important change in the licensing process of low-risk industrial and manufacturing activities related to approximately 900 professions; a simple notification to the General Electronic Commercial Registry (GEMI) suffices to start-up a low-risk business, the Ministry of Development and Competitiveness announced yesterday (24.11). Businesses will need to keep a file with all necessary documents such as the construction permit, fire safety certification etc, in case of an inspection by the authorities.

The decision affects about 25% of business activity and affects sectors that account for 14,3% of the GDP of the Greek economy. It also puts an end to a costly and timing-consuming licencing process and saves up to 1,500 per business depending on the activity.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) calls for additional measures to support jobs, social protection and a stop to further wage cuts in Greece. The ILO has published a report titled "Productive Jobs for Greece," (24.11) which is part of the "Studies on Growth with Equity," a series showing how strong and well-designed employment, labour and social protection measures are central – in combination with supportive macroeconomic policy – to building sustainable, job-rich and equitable growth.

After six years of recession, the Greek economy is showing some signs of recovery. Yet, unemployment has reached unprecedented levels, the risk of poverty and social exclusion continues to increase and enterprise investment is too weak to lead to a sustainable employment recovery. Based on an in-depth analysis of the present situation, the report identifies emergency measures to address "the most pressing needs of vulnerable groups, notably youth and jobless households. It also shows that a comprehensive strategy, involving action at the European level, would contribute to placing the Greek economy on a sustainable growth path."

The United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The date of 25 November was chosen to commemorate the Mirabal sisters, three political activists from the Dominican Republic, who were brutally assassinated in 1960 during the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship (1930-1961).

This year, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women invites you to "Orange YOUR Neighbourhood." Take the UNiTE campaign to local streets, shops and businesses, and organize “Orange Events” in your own neighbourhoods between 25 November and 10 December 2014.
  • Greece, Facts and Figures
Greece ranks 20th (25%), below the EU average (33%) in physical or sexual violence by a partner or a non-partner from the age of 15. It also ranks 22nd (25%) below the EU average (35%) regarding physical, sexual or psychological violence by an adult, before the age of 15.It is noteworthy that women in Greece have recorded the highest emotional response to abuse, with 75% of the respondents declaring "angry" towards abuse – well above the EU average (61%).

The General Secretariat for Gender Equality hosts the Conference "Violence Against Women: One Problem, Many Aspects" today (25.11), which examines various aspects of a problem which affects "35% of women and girls globally who experience some form of physical and or sexual violence."

 See also: Greek News Agenda: International Women’s Day

The shadow theatre of Karagiozis has its own special place in the Greek entertainment industry. The classic Greek anti-hero, who is very clever, very poor and is trying to cope, even though is originally placed in Greece during the Ottoman occupation, has always a story to tell about contemporary life. Poking fun at himself, his friends, the Pasha, the crisis taxes and at the everyday lives of his audience, the barefoot shadow theater figure has regained his audience from much more impressive competitors like television, cell phone or tablets.

Behind Karagiozis’ rebirth, there are young Greek puppeteers like Athanasiou Theatre, Panos Kapetanidis, Alexandros Melissinos, Tasos Konstas and many more learned the craft from the old masters, love the shadow theatre figures and ad have given them a contemporary flair.